Winter’s With Us…


I mean, nothing’s happened to the calendar, it’s just as if this year has gone by, in a flash. And, at our age, that’s exactly the opposite of what we want – we want our remaining time on earth to drag on, not flash by like the way movies used to depict the passage of time – by showing calendar pages flipping over & over.

And yet, it’s the first of December tomorrow, less than a month now until my birthday. There was a break in the drizzle the other day & Pat & I put up some Christmas lights. We put a strand around the monkey puzzle tree, at great person risk, I can tell you, of not only falling down the rock-strewn slope but also of being stabbed by the incredibly sharp points on all the leaves of the monkey puzzle tree – hence its name, by the way.


So the weather drove me indoors for may lukewarm sense of photo-making, & I tried my hand at macro & still lifes. here’s one, above of some found leaves, & below is a close-up of a geranium flower, gone to seed. I love the way the seed cases spiral when the seed itself has gone.




And then, in a flash…

…It was autumn again! But at the tail end, with only a month to go before winter starts on December 1st (really it does, not on the 21st) we had a gorgeous burst of perfect fall days. Beautiful mellow light, filtered among occasional cloud & trees balding with old age, almost completely still air, & temperatures hovering just below 20C.

So we got out & about, both on foot & by car. In town & along  well travelled walkways.


Day after day the perfect weather continued & the winding & hilly country roads were a true delight to waft along, bordered by red maples & golden oaks.dsc1528.jpg

Well, that was quick…

…Summer, I mean. It took a long time coming, was reliably warm & sunny when it did arrive, but now, during the first week of October, we seem to be well into the “season of mist & mellow fruitfulness”. There’s not much colour around yet (and VanIsle doesn’t really get the glorious shades of Eastern Canada) but autumn is hovering, ready to segue into winter.

We’ve had visitors, both human & non-human, including our regular deer who continues to dislodge the bird feeder on the stairs up the rockface, despite my moving the feeder up twice, each time a couple of feet. How she can reach up over 2 meters to dislodge the birdseed is surprising. The Stellar Jays in their wonderful combinations of black & almost iridescent blues have returned, & Sid, Pat’s Glaucous Gull has survived his gobbling up of his feeding spoon along with his daily large helping of cat-food, uneventfully.

Our most recent visitors are a large family of California Quail, a dozen or so. They are very picturesque when mature with the funny-looking topknot they have, but their movements, a hurried scurry, is appealing as well.


As well, I’ve been trying (mostly failing) to take some macro photographs. Macro meaning extreme 1:1 size pictures. You can’t do that with an ordinary lens as they don’t allow close focussing, but with extension tubes or even a dedicated macro lens, you can get an amazing insight into how our world is composed.

But I found/find it very difficult to get sharp pictures of, say, insects because of the limitations of depth of field. You really need a tripod to avoid camera shake, so instead I tried some still lifes. This is a geranium flower, post flowering. See how the seeds come out in a whorl?



A Spring Country Drive

Well, I’m almost hesitant to say this, but now, at the last day of the first week of May, it looks as if spring has finally arrived.

As evidence, we have gone about 3 days without rain & with abundant sunshine – Yippee!

Last week we had temperatures that reached 20C! . That didn’t last, mind you, but at least it’s warm enough to sit outside with our coffees & a book, to read, discuss the issues of the day and to observe the birds courting, arguing & feeding on the seeds that we’ve put out for them.

We went on a longish drive to a fjord on the west coast, where we could see snow on the mountains, seals in the ocean & people in shorts. It was a perfect day to wind our way over the mountains & along twisty roads in a sports car!


Looks like spring, but…

….It’s still raining. Often, almost daily. Showers mostly, but still! So we have had to dodge out to take advantage of the few lovely, sunny days we’ve had since meteorological spring arrived 2 months ago.

But we had one last week & took the Z car out for a spin to see the blossoms in the neighbourhood. And lovely they were. We took the top down & ambled along by the sea shore to Ladysmith. Took a walk along the sands to see the boats. Lovely!


Is it..finally…SPRING?

There’s a question mark at the end of that title because, even though we’re halfway through the first week of April, rain is forecast for the rest of the week & temperatures are still hovering around 10 or 11 Celsius.

And I want to complain. To moan about how the good lord (or really, given all the misery in the world in general, the not-so-good lord) who is supposed to be in charge of these matters, has tricked us into thinking the weather in southern Vancouver Island is lovely.

It used to be. It WAS the last 3 years (which is all we, as newcomers to BC have to compare it with) but this has been a rotten 4 months. And I don’t use the word “rotten” lightly. With so much rain & so few periods of sunshine or dryness, everything in the garden, on the balcony & on our roof is either mildewed or actually rotting away.


…by the cyclone in Oz. My brother Glynn sent this today, of his niece & her father in Byron Bay, NSW, where the storm is apparently working its way south. They look very happy, despite the apparently, to me, risky conditions on this washed-out road.

Even though the usual depictions of Australia are of being dry & desert-like, this part of the country is well watered – even to excess occasionally like now,  which is why Russell Crowe lives there & house prices are very high for a small town.